Pan Nigerian Alphabet

Does anyone have any insight on how the Pan Nigerian alphabet is used? I could only find a couple of examples of it used on the web and I was unable to find Google images of Nigerian signs that didn't use plain old A-Z. I get the feeling that it's only used by linguists and other scholars but I'm unsure.

ƁƊƎỊƘỌṢỤ ɓɗǝịƙọṣụ


  • I think it is only used by some authors of Wiki articles. I found nothing else.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 688
    Interestingly, the German Wiki shows a different version of that alphabet than the other ones. That might imply something about the alphabet's real life popularity. As much as I enjoy learning German, I'm only a beginner. Andreas, maybe you could shed some light?
  • The French wiki is rather explicit and states the poor success of the alphabet as well as
    In practice, the Pan-Nigerian alphabet does not allow the written transcription of all the languages of Nigeria but could serve as a reference for the setting up of other alphabets for Africa, such as the international alphabet of Niamey.
    At the end it states that the following characters are necessary to cover all the scripts used in Nigeria
    ā a̱ ạ ḅ ɓ ḍ ɗ e̱ ẹ ɛ ə ḥ ị ɨ ƙ ṅ ṇ ŋ ñ n̄ o̱ ọ ɔ ʌ ṣ ụ ʼw ʼy ẓ ʼ

  • I’m not really informed about details. I only know that there are different versions of the Pan-Nigerian and Niamey alphabets and this seems to have caused differences in various articles about the matter. - which in itself may be an indicator for the lack of real-world relevance of these char. sets. Who cares?!
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 688
    I guess there might be a few, but they are few. As a result, the educated individuals from these peoples probably don't find writing their native languages important. And when the need arises, using basic latin and a lot of digraphs suffices and is more handy. Not so much for the linguists, though.
  • The Pan Nigerian alphabet is used by some publishers but I wouldn’t say it’s limited to linguistics or scholarly works. Newspapers also use the alphabet, for example Yoruba newspapers like Alaroye or Iroyin Wurọ.
    Some major websites in Hausa use some of its letters (ɓɗƙ) like or

    Of course many don’t use those Pan Nigerian alphabet letter in those languages but, to be fair, it’s still very tough to use this alphabet since there are very few fonts that support it properly (ahem) and there’s generally no pre-installed adequate input method (but that’s getting better, for example on Windows 10).
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